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Climate Change 'Crushing Bumblees in a Vice': Study


Climate Change 'Crushing Bumblees in a Vice': Study

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Yet another reason to take urgent action on the climate crisis: a new study has found that the warming planet is behind shrinking bumblebee range—and their decline could cause widespread impacts.

The reason, according to the team of scientists, who looked at over 100 years of records from North America and Europe, is that while other species are shifting their habitats further north as temperatures climb, bumblebees aren't.


Hey everyone, everything is all about climate change (notice how the word "global warming" has been replaced...) Everything, the economy, war, bees, cancer, all natural disasters, stock market, blah blah.
First off bees are adversely affected by Wifi signals via cell phones and computers, they hate it. Second, they need natural pollen from weeds/pants not eradicated by Monsanto GM products or concrete.
Third, I believe this whole climate change is from the earth wobbling rather than emissions. They just want to tax everything and have more control over travel. If it were due to emissions, why wouldn't we have outlawed these practices already? They cannot help the wobble. Though where did the wobble come from? This is just theory, but maybe it has to do with taking out oil from the inside of the earth displaced proportioned weight to the sphere.


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This article brings to light the plight of species which do not 'migrate' due to changing climatic conditions. Bumblebees would 'migrate' if given the time but not in this anthropocene induced rapid rate of change. When you add in other factors like agricultural insecticides that affect all pollinators it just seems like the speed of change has outpaced the ability of the bees to adjust. The question is what other species are in a similar fix?

Another question that is just starting to be asked in serious discussions is whether the pace of anthropocene change will outpace our own ability to adjust. We aren't able to migrate north en masse any better than Bumblebees can. We just can't seem to understand that it can all get that bad so quickly. Moreover as aligatorhardt comments about insecticides, what is happening to all the other species of pollinators? Bumblebees are easy to spot but what of the other wild bees? Moreover what about the birds and bats that feed on them?

To bee or not to bee... the choice is ours ... but we may not be able to accommodate the rapidity of the changes that are overtaking us any better than can the Bumblebees. Can humanity adapt to the future it has created?

Sigh... the future is too close for comfort.

And remember... humanity may be hazardous to your health!


Kerr 2015 study used bad statistical analysis to evoke climate fear and rejects the biologists consensus on landscape changes and introduced pathogens. Read full critique: Plight of the Bumble Bees: How shabby climate analyses and lax peer review promote a dreadful remedy
Available at my landscapesandcycles website


JimSteele -
If you make claims then you should back them up with at least some data so as to let people understand your point. Simply telling people to visit another site is making them do the work for you but you are the one who needs to make your own point. You say bad statistical analysis but don't give any examples or data. You say biologists consensus on landscape changes (what does that actually mean? Oh right I should go search it out rather than you explaining yourself). Introduced pathogens? Which for example. We know some already but are they what you mean? You didn't even bother to name any.


Wereflea, I simply assumed that linking to my essay would answer all your questions. But it appears that instead of reading all the evidence I presented, you are upset that I would make people read and critically examine all the evidence. Get Real. Truth seekers must always do the work and critically examine all the evidence whether it is my critique or the originally published article.

Yeet, by reading your reply "Bumblebees would 'migrate' if given the time but not in this anthropocene induced rapid rate of change", I can immediately tell you also never even read the original paper! Yet you readily support their gloom and doom that other scientists have questioned. AND if you had read the original paper, you would immediately see why I and other experts state their evidence does not support their assertions. By their own results, nearly all bee species were moving, but some north, and others south. Only the average shows no change, and thus just doesnt support global warming theory.

Here are my first three paragraphs addressing Kerr's flawed statistics analysis:

"The first statistical violation was Kerr’s categorization of time periods that prevented their models from accurately detecting the effects of land use change. They analyzed changes in bees’ latitudinal and thermal limits using records for 31 North American and 36 European species. To create a “pre-climate change” baseline for each species, they averaged 5, 10 or 20 extreme observations (depending on availability) for the time period 1901-1974.

For example to determine a species’ most southerly latitude, they averaged the 5 most southerly records across the continent. However those averages would be dominated by the earliest decades and could hide any northward retractions that happened in the baseline’s later decades. To determine the bees’ warmest thermal limits, they likewise averaged 5 modeled temperatures from the warmest occupied sites. They similarly averaged observations restricted to 3 later 11-year periods of purported human caused climate change spanning 1975-1986, 1987-1998, and 1999-2010, and then compared those averaged results with the baseline averages.

However their asymmetrical categorization of a 74-year baseline period vs. three 11-year “climate change” periods is highly problematic. If their intent was to determine the timing of any significant shifts, their analysis should have compared equal decade-long periods. Instead because their technique averaged the most extreme southern latitudes, the baseline would easily be dominated by the earliest 20th century observations. Any range retractions that happened later during the baseline period would not be “statistically detected” until the 1975-1986 “climate change” period. Any editor or peer reviewer should have required a correction, knowing their asymmetrical categorization could cause such misleading results."

I suggest you read the original paper and my critique, and then offer some substantive criticisms other than your feeble complaints that I am making others do the work. We always must do the work, or we are not thinking critically!


I suggest that quoting from a post 16 days later is an absurdity but you did that. All I did is to make the point that when you make claims in your comments that it behooves you to back them up with some detail and data so the reader has a frame of reference. I was asking for more information because 16 days later you apparently expect people to remember what the conversation was about? Maybe you think that people should go back and read old comments and go visit outside sites because you couldn't be bothered explaining your point adequately (meanwhile you write a huge comment after the fact) rather than to have simply added a couple of sentences to your original post. It is absurd.

If you want to educate then educate, you do not seem able to do that easily. Why you waited 16 days is again absurd on the face of it but whatever. I regret responding to your post since you are unreasonable about criticism.

Truth seekers? Are you joking? You brought up the points and it is up to you to make them successfully or not. Expecting people over two weeks later to remember past posts is not worthy of commenting upon. What gets me is that you quote me from the comments 16 days ago but you are upset because what? That i didn't remember you or the prior discussion. I'll remember this though... if after 16 days that someone is too lazy to restate their points then they are merely kidding themselves about the importance of their even having made the points. Teaching is the art of making it easy for people to understand your point. If you don't make the effort to teach then people will almost certainly not make the effort to try and understand.

Talk to you again in another 16 days.


Wereflea, Now all you are doing is misdirecting with more psychobabble. You dodge the fact that you did not read the paper you bloated gloom and doom on or read the critique. I did teach but you did not do your homework and now are making excuses. Telling. If it takes you 1 days to read a paper so be it. Hopefully when you are done you will comeback with a substantive discussion and avoid the personal attacks and psychobabble


How any rational person can skip over a span of two weeks in a very active discussion forum and expect that time gap to be insignificant amazes me. I am sorry if I don't have the time to visit your site or read endless papers on every subject. What exactly is your beef with my comment about bees? You talk about other people and papers and well hey ... what did I say specifically that you objected to? All this other stuff is mere excess and frankly egoism on your part.

You snidely insinuate that I have not read the original paper as if that meant that I could not justifiably comment on the article that appeared in CD. Well actually I did not read Kerr's article because it is available only in abstract whereas I commented on what was presented in CD. You then criticize Kerr's methodology which I of course cannot comment on and yet you expect me and others to simply accept your few statements as fact because you claim to be an expert?

Even from what I read from your ever so thrilling and excitingly informative paragraphs (does the word nitpicking quibbling come to mind?) I can see that you make criticisms of Kerr's methodology but you do not offer opposing conclusions or refutations based on actual evidence. Just those based on what you think Kerr should have done.

You may think that you are wonderful but the only thing feeble is your ability to communicate and accept criticisms.

Where are your studies refuting Kerr's? It is not enough to suggest insufficient methodology. Doing the actual work would be more conclusive.


My how time (16 days?)flies.

You are hilarious. You can't comment on Kerr's methodology having never read it, but you can criticize my critique without knowing what I am criticizing. Hmmmm Very telling

However I do appreciate you admitting that you had not read the article. You can justify not reading it however you want, but in addition to my criticism of Kerr 2015, my specific criticism of your post still stands, as I first wrote

"by reading your reply "Bumblebees would 'migrate' if given the time but not in this anthropocene induced rapid rate of change", I can immediately tell you also never even read the original paper! Yet you readily support their gloom and doom that other scientists have questioned. AND if you had read the original paper, you would immediately see why I and other experts state their evidence does not support their assertions. By their own results, nearly all bee species were moving, but some north, and others south. Only the average shows no change, and thus just doesnt support global warming theory.

What I constantly observe is people like yourself help make claims of catastrophic climate change without ever knowing, without ever examining, with out ever taking the time to investigate to determine if you are just pimping somebody's bad science or relaying valid information. And when people like myself point your shortcomings by providing peer reviewed contrary evidence, your only defense is to try to shoot the messenger. My critique is not paywalled and has all the links you need to verify. But ypu prefer blind blief and that's how totalitarian ways take hold.


But you don't provide contrary evidence. Where are your own studies? I asked you that but you go right back to criticizing Kerr's methodology. You jump around claiming I shouldn't comment on climate change because I said what about bees not having time to migrate? You are absurd.

First off, your academic criticisms' are more quibbling about someone else's methodology but are NOT the same as having conducted the same or similar research using your supposedly more appropriate methodology yourself. I would like to know where I could compare your methodology ( assuming you did research in the field and have the results of a comparable study conducted by yourself to show for it.) with that of Kerr's.
Secondly I only commented on the paragraphs you threw in from your essay. Apparently you think that is insufficient? So then why include them in the first place? Lol.

You then add a remark disparaging global warming theory en toto as if Kerr's study is the only proof used by the scientific community in support of the existence of global warming.

Then you insult me because I said the bees would migrate if they had more time but that climate change was proceeding too fast for them to do so. I should be put in front of a firing squad to listen to your phony baloney outrage about it.

Why don't we pretend to a kid's game where we take one comment out of context and blow it out of proportion - where we take one study or paper and subject it to a microscope of quibbling on methodology but offer no contrasting research as proof - where we then pretend that we are objective but have an anti-global warming perspective - and then get cranky and pouty when other people are not impressed by a poorly set out argument without substantive proof accompanying it.

While you may consider your essay as proof... others may not. BTW was your paper peer reviewed or are you suggesting that going to your website is sufficient to prove that your conclusions are valid.

Also state where your research in the field has been published and peer reviewed and proves where Kerr's methodology is wrong? Your personal website ... lol ... isn't quite sufficient in that regard, I am afraid.


Wereflea says "Why don't we pretend to a kid's game where we take one comment out of context and blow it out of proportion "

I'll pass. You are doing a great job of pretending and distorting all by your self. Anyone who reads my critique and Kerr's paper will easily see you are just sniping without knowledge and blowing smoke to misdirect.


With regard to bumblebee 'migration', it isn't about individuals physically relocating. Rather, what is expected is that as temperatures warm, species sensitive to temperature will start to have better reproductive success on one end of their range that favors them, and reduced success at the other end of the range. Over time the favorable edge expands and unfavorable edge shrinks and the whole population moves over many generations. But this presumes that the necessary habitat exists in the direction the population is moving. If you reach a northern forest with no wildflowers for hundreds of miles, now what?

There's really a dearth of good long term data on wild bees:

Jennifer Sass, of the Natural Resource Defense Council, acknowledged in a webinar put on by Northeastern IPM Center that there is no data available showing the decline of wild bees, saying environmental groups can only “presume” that wild bees are in decline. But the science doesn’t back up that presumption.

The advantage to this new narrative is that there simply are no good statistics on wild bees. We don’t even know how many species of wild bees there are, let alone their numbers or the population trends over time. Except for several bumblebee species that have collapsed due to disease, no baseline data exist on indigenous bee populations in this country and how they are changing over time–just the kind of black box science that invites advocacy scare mongering.

There is every reason to believe, however, that the new crisis is just as thinly supported by science as the old one. A 2013 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed U.S. native bee populations over a 140-year period. Only three of 187 native species had declined steeply, almost certainly due to a pathogen and not any pesticide. In Europe, wild bee populations have been in decline for nearly seventy years, but in recent decades the decline has slowed and in some cases turned around, even as the use of neonics has skyrocketed

A recent three-year study published in Nature, conducted by 58 scientists around the world, found that the wild bee species that pollinate crops (and which would therefore come into the greatest contact with neonics) are flourishing.

Sam Droege, a wild bee specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey who has been tasked with performing the first comprehensive survey ever of wild bee populations in the U.S., has said his surveys so far indicate that most wild bees are doing just fine.

Via Beemageddon? As hysteria over honey bees recedes, anti-neonic narrative refocuses on wild bees

Long term data is important because bee populations can naturally double or halve in just one year:

Year-to-year shifts in bee abundance for three tropical and five temperate bee censuses were comparable. In short studies (2-4 years) and during longer studies (17-21 years), 59 species that included solitary, social, and highly social bees had mean abundances that varied by factors of 2.06 for temperate bees and 2.16 for tropical bees. “Normal” bee populations commonly halved or doubled in 1-yr intervals. Longer term data are only available for the tropics. Stochastic variation and limitations of monitoring methods suggest that minimum series of four years (i.e., three intervals) of several counts during the active season may demonstrate genuine trends. Longer term, continuous studies are still needed for meaningful insights on pollinator population shifts in nature.

Via Ups and Downs in Pollinator Populations: When is there a Decline?

The author explains a little more the causes of doubling/halving - more rain means more flowers which make more nectar that makes more bees:

One benefit of doing long-term studies is that I see what happens when an El Niño year comes in the tropics, which causes sustained and super-productive flowering and feeds a lot more bees than the normal,” he said. “This makes populations go up and then go down—they're supposed to do that. After a year or two of big decline people will start saying Henny Penny the sky is falling, but you can't predict anything on the basis of one or two years of study. Stability is not the norm, not here or anywhere else.

Via Smithsonian's Bee Man Delivers Up Some Advice for Dealing with Colony Collapse Disorder


The operative word was sarcasm. You are ridiculous suggesting people read your paper at your website. about an article over two weeks ago and which you think disproves global warming. Utterly ridiculous stuff. You are a denier with nothing new to say...much less have published or been peer reviewed yourself. Nice try though Jim... ridiculous but a nice try.


NIce post oroboros, Finally some sanity and meaningful discussion!


Except that the data is inaccurate especially about bee populations in Europe and honey bee declines world wide. According to you two right-wingers there is no bee decline anywhere.

Isn't that a marvel... two global warming deniers say bee declines aren't happening. Why ever should progressives believe hundreds of scientists and literally tens of thousands of farmers and bee keepers that Bee populations are declining? Why when we can just listen to right-wingers pretending they are progressive about denying global warming...lol


Can you point to the place I said that? I think this is what I actually said:

See for example the European Red List of Bees (PDF) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature:

*9.2% and 9.1% of the species are considered threatened at the European and EU 27 levels, respectively. However, the proportion of threatened bee species is uncertain given the high number of Data Deficient species, and could lie between 4% (if all DD species are not threatened) and 60.7% (if all DD species are threatened) for Europe...


Thanks, I feel your pain!